How to Choose the Right Size LED Sign

One of the easiest ways to save money on your LED sign is to be calculated in your choice of display size. Bigger is not always better. Sales people often take advantage of this misconception and encourage buyers to go as big as they can. Too large, and your sign can communicate the wrong message to the community, too small and you could be one step up from being invisible to the community.

5 tips for Choosing the Right Size LED Sign

  1. The Role of Definition
  2. The Role of Distance
  3. The Role of Content
  4. The Role of Speed
  5. The Role of Public Image

#1: The role of Definition

LED signs come in many different definitions, or “Pixel Pitches”. These are measured in millimeters and the measurement reflects the distance from the center of one pixel to center of the pixel adjacent to it. Higher definition signs have many more pixels than a lower definition sign would. So, if you are limited to a smaller size sign, choose a higher definition to allow for a more dynamic use of the area you are allotted. If you are considering a larger size, then a lower definition may be the way to go in order to save money.

Pro Tip: Definitions (Pixel Pitches) commonly used range from 6mm-32mm depending on the manufacturer you choose. Optimal viewing distances range from 15 feet (6-10mm) and up to 150 feet (26-32mm). Take this into consideration when choosing the size/definition to match your circumstances.

#2: The role of Distance

Start with the position of the audience (distance from the sign to the audience passing by). If all you want to get across is a few words in text format, then you can judge the size needed by knowing the distance to the passers by as long as they have 5 seconds of view time minimum. If you want to show animations or high definition images, then the size you choose will be largely dependent upon the viewing distance as well.

Pro Tip: if you have a large distance to cover, then a low definition sign at a larger size, is the most economical choice. If you have a short distance, it is generally a better idea to use higher definition signs. Consider any additional height of the sign to calculate this variable as well.

#3: The role of Content

Content is the driving force behind all other variable choices in any LED sign project, including the size of the display. To illustrate this importance, imagine two signs of identical size, at a distance of 150 feet. The business requires the content on the sign to include real life pictures at a high definition. One sign has a definition of 10mm, and the other is a 20mm sign. Even though the 20mm sign has half the definition of the 10mm sign, and half the number of pixels as the 10mm sign, the real life pictures displayed on the signs will look nearly identical to the audience 150 feet away. However, if the same signs are placed 30 feet away from the audience, the 20mm will be too blurry to view while the 10mm will be perfectly clear.

Pro Tip: Decide what content you want to use the sign for prior to choosing size. Use the variables of distance and definition to find the best possible combination for your desired outcome and circumstances.

#4: The role of Speed

Outdoor LED signs typically are focused on marketing to the traffic passing by their location each day. While speed limits are good guidelines, the true speed of traffic is often significantly higher than the posted limit. Take this into consideration as it can affect your decision concerning size, which will change other variable such as definition and content choices as well. Generally speaking, the higher the speed of traffic, the larger the sign needs to become. This is due to the 5-second rule. You can use a speed/size tabulation as a guide. You can find one here for reference:

#5: The role of Public Image

While speed, content, definition, and distance all make important impacts on the decision of what size to use for your project, public image is often just as important although it is often overlooked. Consider the vision and mission statements of your organization. Who are you currently, and who do you plan on becoming, in the minds of the community you aim to reach? A larger sign can send a positive message of stability and dedication to your field, or it can send a message of decadence or affluence that could potentially harm your marketing goals. It all depends on your organization’s identity and audience. By matching your identity with how you believe the community would prefer to view your organization or church, you can assure the proper size to communicate that image effectively.


Let us help you make a well-informed purchase. Contact Guthman, your digital experts, for the best LED signboards in the industry.